An artist's impression of the Nelson Airport redevelopment.

Nelson Airport announces $32m redevelopment


Plans for Nelson Airport’s new $32 million terminal have been revealed today, with work to begin later this year.

The terminal and surrounding car park will take two years to complete and will be paid for without any ratepayer contribution.


Nelson Airport new terminal - airside1


Nelson Airport chief executive Rob Evans says the project will greatly enhance the experience for travellers with more space for seating, airline lounges, toilets, new retail spaces and increased car parking.

The new terminal will cater for growth projections out to 2035, when 1.4 million passengers a year are forecast to pass through the facility, says Rob.

The current terminal was constructed in 1974 and in the last financial year, 865,000 passengers passed through it, putting huge strain on its resources.

“This is a very exciting step in the evolution of Nelson Airport and its role as the gateway to our region”, says Rob. “We’ve used the latest industry best practise techniques to determine how this facility works for passengers and its operators, and as a result have created a plan that will see every element of the airport design improved.

“Visually it will be magnificent; locally sourced timber products, floor to ceiling windows, a spacious open plan style and a unique roof design will all work in harmony to make this space feel very special and reflect the beauty of the region.

“Functionally we will increase car parking by 300 spaces to cater for 900 vehicles and create more room for taxis, buses and rental cars. We’ll have a much more intuitive layout for passengers with an increased check-in area and departure lounge, new retail space, double the number of toilets and more food and beverage offerings.”

The new terminal design is modular and flexible, so that it can be easily scaled up in future if demand exceeds the projections.

Air New Zealand’s chief operating officer, Bruce Parton, has welcomed the announcement.

“Nelson is integral in our network and the new terminal delivers on our drive to provide exceptional customer service and an enhanced quality of travel experience. The airport team has consulted extensively over the past 12 months and continues to consult on the design elements. We are very pleased with the plans that have been revealed and look forward to working with Nelson Airport through the challenges of completing this development to achieve the optimal outcome for our customers”.

Grant Kerr, Jetstar Head of New Zealand, says the airline is very supportive of the need for a new terminal development. “Nelson is one of our most popular regional destinations and we fully understand the airport’s need to build a terminal that can cope with the significant growth in passenger numbers.”

The cost of the redevelopment will be met by Nelson Airport Ltd with external funding. No ratepayer money will be sought and there will be no reduction in the annual dividend Nelson Airport pays to its shareholders, Nelson City and Tasman District Councils.

Nelson MP Nick Smith says other regions have had to contribute to the costs of a new terminal through their rates or with a departure tax. “So it is a credit to the two councils and the Nelson Airport company that it is run so commercially successfully that it does not require either a ratepayer subsidy or departure tax.”